Police, protesters clash in Limpopo town
Polokwane - Police have clashed with protesters, who hurled stones at them with catapults, in Vuwani, Limpopo, on Thursday as a demonstration against a newly established municipality heated up.
The protesters pelted police and journalists with stones after the government announced on Wednesday that it was not backing down on the decision to establish a new municipality in Limpopo's Vhembe district.
The group, calling itself pro-Makhado Municipality, took to the streets again on Thursday after a meeting between Co-operative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan and traditional leaders.
A decision was made to set aside the Mutale Municipality as part of the new demarcation boundaries.
The decision was welcomed by Malamulele residents who previously accused their own municipality of not directing services to their area. They accused the local Thulamela Municipality of favouring the Venda tribe’s settlement area.
Thulamela officials dismissed their claims as baseless.
According to the Municipal Demarcation Board map, the new municipality will encompass some wards from the Makhado and Thulamela municipalities.
Protesters blockaded streets and major entry routes to Vuwani, which is linked to Kruger National Park, barricading them with stones, rubble and burning tyres.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Elijah Malatji warned motorists to avoid driving along the Elim-Malamulele road.
Three buildings were set alight on Thursday, but quick intervention by the police prevented a fire at a fourth building.